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Medical November 28, 2023

Seasonal Allergies: Tailoring Over-the-Counter Treatment to the Time of Year.

Medically Reviewed by Pharm. Emmanuella Oladeni

Written by Ella Oladeni

Millions of individuals worldwide suffer from seasonal allergies, which are often referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. The immune system's reaction to airborne particles such as pollen, mold spores, or pet dander causes these allergies. While some people may have problems all year round, many people have worsening symptoms in certain seasons. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help with these symptoms, but they must be tailored to the season for the best results.

Understanding Seasonal Allergies.

Outdoor allergens are a common cause of seasonal allergies, with certain allergens being more common throughout certain seasons. For example, grass pollen predominates in late spring and early summer, although tree pollen is often the source of spring allergies. One main trigger in the late summer and early fall is ragweed. In warm, humid regions, mold spores can be problematic; they are more prevalent in the summer and fall.

Tailoring OTC Medicine to Seasons.

1. Antihistamines and Decongestants for Spring Allergies

Antihistamines, such as cetirizine and loratadine, can help relieve sneezing, itching, and runny nose by inhibiting histamine action.

Decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine, can relieve nasal congestion by constricting blood vessels.

2.Summer Allergies: Antihistamines and Nasal Sprays Should Be Continued

Antihistamines are still widely used, offering long-term relief from allergens such as grass pollen.

Fluticasone and mometasone nasal corticosteroid sprays, for example, can help reduce inflammation and congestion.

3. Antihistamines and Nasal Irrigation for Fall Allergies

Antihistamines are still necessary, especially for people who are allergic to ragweed.

Saline nasal irrigation can help wash out irritants and relax nasal passages.

4. Allergies All Year: Indoor Allergens

Individuals experiencing year-round symptoms must concentrate on indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold.

OTC antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids can still provide comfort when combined with steps such as using air purifiers and cleaning living environments on a regular basis.

Tips for Effective  OTC Allergy Management.

Early Intervention: To stop symptoms from getting worse, begin over-the-counter medications before the busiest allergy seasons.

Consistent Use: To provide ongoing protection against allergens, take drugs as prescribed, even on days when symptoms don't appear severe.

Consultation with Medical authorities: Before beginning over-the-counter allergy remedies, anyone with pre-existing medical issues or those using other prescriptions should check with medical authorities.

Combining antihistamines: The use of antihistamines with decongestants or nasal sprays can provide more thorough relief in some cases.


Seasonal allergies require a personalized approach that takes into account the individual triggers present at different periods of the year. When taken strategically and regularly, over-the-counter medications can dramatically reduce symptoms and enhance the quality of life for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. Individual responses may vary, therefore seeking personalized advice from healthcare professionals is always advised.

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